Tag: accident

Texas Church Bus Crash: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Thirteen people have died after a church bus carrying seniors crashed head-on into a pickup truck in Texas.

The gruesome crash occurred near Concan, Texas in the area of Garner State Park, and it killed everyone in the church vehicle except one passenger. Photos and videos captured the scene of the horrific collision.

The pickup driver, who is in serious condition in the hospital, was identified as Jack Dillon Young, 20. A police spokesman told the New York Daily News that he “may have crossed the center line of the highway before the crash.”

According to the Uvalde Leader-News,”An area resident was behind one of the vehicles involved and said she called law enforcement in Uvalde and Real counties to report reckless driving. Before help arrived, however, the crash happened.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Bus Was Carrying Seniors From a Baptist Church in New Braunfels

According to News4SanAntonio, the “bus carrying seniors from the First Baptist church in New Braunfels collided with a heavy-duty pick-up truck.”

The pickup driver was the lone occupant of that vehicle, Fox News reported. Everyone on the bus died except a single passenger; according to The New York Daily News, the victims were named as Harold Barber, 87; Howard Allen, 81; Rhonda Allen, 61; Margaret Barber, 82; Cristie Moore, 68; Donna Hawkins, 69; Avis Banks, 83; Mildred Rosamond, 87; Addie Schmeltekopf, 84; Sue Tysdal, 76; Martha Walker, 84; Dorothy Vulliet, 84; and the minibus driver, Murray William Barrett, 67.

Rose Harris was initially reported as having died, but TWC reports that she is still recovering in the hospital.

Authorities have not yet released much information about the pickup truck’s driver. However, CNN reported that the driver did not die. According to CNN, the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Details were still unfolding on March 29. According to the Associated Press, the seniors were about 120 miles from the church, where they were headed.


2. The Seniors Were Returning From a Retreat

The church, First Baptist New Braunfels, posted several messages on Facebook, which said the bus was returning from a retreat. MySanAntonio.com reported that the event was a choir retreat.

“We have received word that the bus carrying our senior adults back from their retreat was involved in an accident,” the pastor wrote. “We understand there have been some fatalities. All activities for tonight are cancelled, including dinner. The Sanctuary will be open this evening for prayer and support. Please be in prayer for all involved.”

The church also released an official statement through social media that read, “At approximately 2 pm this afternoon, a group of our senior adults were returning home from a 3-day retreat at Alto Frio Baptist Encampment when their vehicle was involved in a head-on collision. We have heard that there have been fatalities, but we have not received any official details from the local authorities. We are ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy. Counselors will be on hand at the church tomorrow. If you’re a Christian, you can pray for those who lost their loved ones and for the church family.”


3. Everyone But One Passenger Inside the Bus Died

According to Fox News, 14 people were on the church bus. All but one died.

The pickup driver was the lone occupant of that vehicle, Fox News reported. One woman initially survived the crash, but has since passed away at the hospital, the Daily News reported.

At first, authorities said 12 people had died, but then they increased the number of fatalities to 13.

According to The Associated Press, at first, “the lone surviving passenger was hospitalized in critical condition, while the truck driver was hospitalized in stable condition.”


4. An Eyewitness Described the Crash Scene as ‘Gruesome’

Rick Ballesteros, of Uvalde, Texas, “came upon the scene of the accident,” according to Fox News.

“It was a really gruesome scene,” he told reporters.


5. Politicians Released Statements Grieving for the Victims

“We are saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to all those affected,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a statement.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted, “My prayers are with the families impacted by this tragic accident – especially for those who have lost loved ones.”

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Jack Dillon Young: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A 20-year-old man is accused of driving his pickup truck recklessly – while possibly texting and driving – before veering into a minibus carrying a group of New Braunfels seniors back from a church choir retreat.

Jack Dillon Young was identified as the driver who crashed into the seniors’ bus, killing 13 people on March 29 along a Texas roadway. All but one of the seniors inside the bus died; Young survived the crash and is recovering in a hospital.

There are new reports that Young may have repeatedly apologized for texting and driving in the moments after the crash, and police say they received three 911 calls reporting reckless driving before the accident. No criminal charges have been issued, however.

An eyewitness recorded a lengthy video he says is of Young swerving back and forth in the road shortly before the accident. You can watch it here. “This guy is all over the road,” the witness says as his passenger expressed repeated horror.

Four of the victims in the Texas church bus crash. (Facebook)

The victims ranged from a woman who made band folders for the church choir to a retiree remembered for her love of square dancing. Loved ones remembered the strong faith of many of the victims. The daughter of victim Murray Barrett, who was driving the minibus, wrote a heartbreaking tribute to her father. It said, in part, “Yesterday my father’s death, along with the death of 12 other members of his church, shook me in a way I have never been shaken before. I love my mom, but I was always a daddy’s girl. I remember 5am coffee and coco (he had coffee; I had coco). We were both early risers and would enjoy that special time before my siblings and mom would wake up. I’d be rubbing sleep out of my eyes but dad had already been up praying and reading his bible.”

The gruesome crash occurred near Concan, Texas in the area of Garner State Park. Photos and videos captured the scene of the horrific collision.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. A Witness Alleges Young Repeatedly Apologized for Texting & Driving After Crossing the Center Line

According to News4SanAntonio, the “bus carrying seniors from the First Baptist church in New Braunfels collided with a heavy-duty pick-up truck” driven by Young.

A spokesperson from the Texas Department of Public Safety told The New York Daily News that it “appeared that Young may have crossed the center line of the highway before the crash.”

According to an eyewitness interviewed by the AP, Young may have apologized for texting and driving shortly before the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is hoping to interview Young, CNN reported.

The AP reports that crash witness Jody Kuchler said Young “repeatedly apologized and acknowledged he had been texting while driving” and that Kuchler spoke with Young as he was “pinned his truck.” Kuchler told the AP he said to Young, “Son, do you know what you just did?” and Young repeatedly apologized. Kuchler had seen Young driving “erratically” before the crash, the AP alleged.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Kuchler called 911 and said, “Somebody needs to get this guy off the road. He’s going to hit somebody head on or he’s going to kill his own damn self. Somebody needs to get this guy off the road. He’s going like 80 miles an hour right now.” Kuchler recorded video of Young allegedly swerving around the road before the crash, the Chronicle reported.

Young is from Leakey, Texas, the Herald-Zeitung reported. News4SanAntonio reported, “Authorities said the driver of the truck is at fault in the accident that killed 13 members of the church.”

According to the Uvalde Leader-News,”An area resident was behind one of the vehicles involved and said she called law enforcement in Uvalde and Real counties to report reckless driving. Before help arrived, however, the crash happened.”

ABC3340 reported that police had confirmed that account, writing, “Lt. Daniel Rodriguez of the Uvalde Police Department confirms they received a 911 call prior to the accident during which the caller reported a white Dodge dually was driving all over the road. Upon receiving the call, deputies were immediately dispatched, but by the time they arrived, the crash had occurred.”

According to CNN, the cause of the crash remains under investigation, however.

The Associated Press reported that the seniors were about 120 miles from the church, where they were headed, when the crash occurred.

PHOTOS: Remembering the Texas Church Bus Crash Victims

See names, photos and stories of the Texas church bus crash victims. Thirteen died. Jack Dillon Young, driver of a pickup that crashed into the bus, survived.

Click here to read more


2. The Seniors Were Returning From a Choir Retreat & Young Lived Near the Crash Site

Young lived within 10 miles of the crash site, according to KENS5.

The television station found that neighbors were hesitant to speak of Young, although one person recalled him playing football, and he “last attended the high school in 2014 and did not graduate from Leakey.”

KENS5 reported that Young lives “at the dead end of a barely-paved gravel road.”

The church, First Baptist New Braunfels, posted several messages on Facebook, which said the bus was returning from a retreat. The church asked for people’s prayers. MySanAntonio.com reported that the event was a choir retreat.

“We have received word that the bus carrying our senior adults back from their retreat was involved in an accident,” the pastor wrote. “We understand there have been some fatalities. All activities for tonight are cancelled, including dinner. The Sanctuary will be open this evening for prayer and support. Please be in prayer for all involved.”

The church also released an official statement through social media that read, “At approximately 2 pm this afternoon, a group of our senior adults were returning home from a 3-day retreat at Alto Frio Baptist Encampment when their vehicle was involved in a head-on collision. We have heard that there have been fatalities, but we have not received any official details from the local authorities. We are ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy. Counselors will be on hand at the church tomorrow. If you’re a Christian, you can pray for those who lost their loved ones and for the church family.”


3. Everyone Died Inside the Church Bus but One Passenger & the Oldest Was 87

According to Fox News, 14 people were on the church bus.

The pickup driver was the lone occupant of that vehicle, Fox News reported. Everyone on the bus died except one female passenger; according to The New York Daily News, the victims were named as Harold Barber, 87; Howard Allen, 81; Rhonda Allen, 61; Margaret Barber, 82; Cristie Moore, 68; Donna Hawkins, 69; Avis Banks, 83; Mildred Rosamond, 87; Addie Schmeltekopf, 84; Sue Tysdal, 76; Martha Walker, 84; Dorothy Vulliet, 84; and the minibus driver, Murray William Barrett, 67.

The daughter of one of the victims wrote on Facebook, “As most of you know by now we lost our sweet mother in this tragic accident yesterday! We are all heartbroken! Call your mother today and tell her you love her. You never know when the last time you’ll be able to say that.”

She also posted an angry message about Young:

Rose Harris, 64, is the lone survivor of the church group. It was reported from other church members that Harris had passed away, but TWC reports she is still recovering in the hospital. Harris was upgraded to fair condition on March 30.

Other family members and friends posted tributes to the victims on Facebook. “I only personally knew one of the saints called home to glory but I grew to develop a quick bond with Sue Tysdal. Her husband, Darryl, only recently passed away,” wrote one woman. Tysdal was among those who died in the crash. “My heart goes out to all those that form the body of Christ, especially to the Tysdal family. Just last Sunday Sue and I were talking about having me over to the house for a visit with her and her son Dustyn. Christ had other plans so that visit will await us in eternity.”

At first, authorities said 12 people had died, but then they increased the number of fatalities to 13.

According to The Associated Press, “The lone surviving passenger was hospitalized in critical condition, while the truck driver was hospitalized in stable condition.”


4. An Eyewitness Described the Crash Scene as ‘Gruesome’

Rick Ballesteros, of Uvalde, Texas, “came upon the scene of the accident,” according to Fox News. It was a horrific sight, he told Texas news media.

“It was a really gruesome scene,” he said to reporters. Videos and photos captured the mangled wreckage at the scene.


5. The Governor & a U.S. Senator Released Statements Grieving for the Victims

Prominent Texas politicians released statements about the crash.

“We are saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to all those affected,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a statement.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted, “My prayers are with the families impacted by this tragic accident – especially for those who have lost loved ones.”

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PHOTOS: Remembering the Texas Church Bus Crash Victims

Thirteen people died when a pickup truck crashed into a church minibus in Texas, and one woman – the lone survivor among her group – is still recovering in the hospital.

The victims’ stories and photos are becoming known; the stories range from a woman who prepared church band folders for the choir to a mother of three who declared on social media, “I love my life!” Family and friends have flooded social media with tributes to the victims, remembering their strong faith.

Authorities say the pickup driver, Jack Dillon Young, 20 – who survived – may have veered across the center line, and one news report said a motorist had called 911 to report reckless driving right before the crash.

The victims were all members of First Baptist Church in New Braunfels. Here’s more about each one of their lives:


Rose Harris, 64

Harris is the sole survivor from the church minibus. She is recovering in a hospital.

A friend wrote the morning after the crash, “UPDATE AS OF 8:44am this morning, 3/30/17
Rose is in good spirits, devastated with the loss of 13 of her closest brothers and sisters is Christ, but is joyous in knowing the celebration with Jesus is where they are now at peace. Rose has broken bones and is very traumatized at personally witnessing the horrific incident. Please, continued prayers for healing, and continued prayers for family and friends of loved ones now in heaven. All my love to you beautiful people…i thank each of you.”

A friend wrote on Facebook, “Please pray healing for Rose Harris, the lone survivor from the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels bus crash yesterday. She is a very sweet and loving lady, I had Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner with her.”

The other victims have died:


Rhonda Allen, 61

On her Facebook page, Rhonda Allen (above left) described herself as “Mother of 3, grandmother of 5 (all girls). Part time Hospice Nurse. I love my life!”

She wrote that she worked at Gentiva, went to Sam Rayburn High School, lived in New Braunfels, Texas, and was from Pasadena, Texas. She recently went on a trip to Branson, Missouri.

A woman who knew Allen wrote, “Rhonda Allen, what a kind and loving soul. I was very blessed to have known you🙏🏼.”


Donna Hawkins, 69

Friends remembered Hawkins for her love of square dancing.

“Yesterday we lost a very good friend and Square Dancer. Her name was Donna Hawkins,” wrote one friend on Facebook. “She lost her life in a horrific bus accident in Texas along with 12 others. She was returning from a religious retreat when their bus was hit head on. Donna was the consummate Square Dancer. She was always supporting the activity. She danced often, and was a club president, CA State council historian (always with a camera in her hand!) and so much more. When Donna was at a dance everyone knew it! If there is such a thing as the “Life of the Dance” Donna was it! Who could forget her ‘All girls Squares.’ Rest in Peace Donna I and so many others will miss you so much!”


Murray William Barrett, 67.

Barrett was driving the church mini bus. According to PinkArmadillo.com, Barrett was married with three children and “was a semi math teacher who also worked at Schlitterbaun. He studied Business Administration at Texas State University.”

The daughter of Barrett wrote a heartbreaking tribute to her father. It said, in part, “Yesterday my father’s death, along with the death of 12 other members of his church, shook me in a way I have never been shaken before. I love my mom, but I was always a daddy’s girl. I remember 5am coffee and coco (he had coffee; I had coco). We were both early risers and would enjoy that special time before my siblings and mom would wake up. I’d be rubbing sleep out of my eyes but dad had already been up praying and reading his bible.”

One woman wrote on Facebook, “Wow. RIP Mr. Murray Barrett. He was a teacher when I was in school. My prayers go out to all the families that lost their loved ones. 💙🙏🏼” Another woman wrote, “Our family personally knew Murray Barrett, one of the victims. He was an amazing AWANA leader for First Baptist Church NB to all three of my children when we first moved here 10 years ago.”


Avis Banks, 83


Howard Allen, 81

According to The PinkArmadillo, “Howard lost his wife, Patricia, just last year. He now joins her and his son, Emmett Miles Allen, in Heaven.”

No photo of Allen has been released.


Mildred Rosamond, 87

A church pastor called Rosamond an “amazing woman of God.”

“We are heartbroken to hear the sad news about Mildred Rosamond,” the pastor wrote on Facebook. “She was among those senior adults killed in the Bus crash near San Antonio. Mildred was an amazing woman of God who was always ready to encourage me and her whole church family.”

On Facebook, Rosamond described herself as “Retired and Loving It.” She lived in New Braunfels, Texas and was from Baytown, Texas.

She worked as a front desk receptionist at Memorial Baptist Church, reported ThePinkArmadillo.com. She previously worked for Baytown Sun Newspapers Group, according to her Facebook page.


Addie Schmeltekopf, 84

Schmeltekopf’s Facebook page says she studied at Gulf Coast State College, went to Hamilton High School, Hamilton, TX, lived in New Braunfels, Texas, and was from Hamilton, Texas.

One of her only public Facebook posts was this Bible saying:

Schmeltekopf was remembered for preparing band folders and singing in the church choir.

One woman wrote on Facebook, “Words cannot express how sad I am in the passing of Miss Addie who I dearly loved and cherished the friendship we had.” A friend wrote on Facebook, “Addie Schmeltekopf was a dear lady and precious friend. Besides singing in our church choir, she also volunteered each week to prepare band folders for Wednesday night rehearsals. She let us know this week that she would be participating in this retreat, would not be there yesterday afternoon, but would be there for choir rehearsal last night.”


Sue Tysdal, 76

Tysdal’s granddaughter wrote a tribute for her grandmother on Facebook. Tysdal’s husband had recently passed away.

The granddaughter wrote: “As many of you may have heard or seen, there was an awful wreck in San Antonio this afternoon and I’m sadden to say that my Gram was one of the 13 that did not make it back to the First Baptist Church. However, I can confidently say she made it into Heaven and left singing praises. This woman was so strong in her walk with Christ and I looked up to her in too many ways to count. Please keep our family in your prayers as well as the other families, particularly my dad, Dustyn. God has a plan and He makes all things work together for good.”

She added, “Gram, I guess Grandfather didn’t want to see the Majesty of the Kingdom with out the woman who pulled him back in and was there by his side in sickness and in health. I’m so sorry you had to go this tragically but I know you are in peace which gives me peace. I love you and Grandfather dearly and I’m thankful for the role you two played in my life.”

A friend wrote on Facebook of Tysdal, “The names of those who perished in yesterday’s tragedy have been released. I only personally knew one of the saints called home to glory but I grew to develop a quick bond with Sue Tysdal. Her husband, Darryl, only recently passed away. My heart goes out to all those that form the body of Christ, especially to the Tysdal family. Just last Sunday Sue and I were talking about having me over to the house for a visit with her and her son Dustyn.”


Martha Walker, 84

A relative of Walker asked for prayers, writing, “Please be in prayer for the children of my mom’s youngest sister, Martha Walker, who was killed in the church bus crash outside of San Antonio yesterday, and the families of First Baptist Church of New Braunfels.”


Dorothy Vulliet, 84

No photo has been released yet of Vulliet. Her most recent public post on Facebook is of her nephew’s grave, with the post, “I join you in paying tribute to all our veterans. It brought tears to my eyes to see Gary’s grave marker. Such a beloved nephew to me!!”


Harold Barber, 87 and Margaret Barber, 82

A friend posted on the Willow Meadows Baptist Church page, “among those who were killed are Harold and Jo Barber, former WMBC members.


Cristie Moore, 68

A friend wrote on Facebook of Moore, “Cristie was a very nice lady I had the privilege of knowing while working at BAMC (Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX). You’re in the arms of our Savior and home at last. My prayers and deepest condolences to the families of these angels who took flight.”


This post will be updated as more is known about each victim.

Read more about Young here:

Jack Dillon Young: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jack Dillon Young was identified as the driver of a pickup truck that crashed into a church minibus, killing 13 people in Texas.

Click here to read more

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